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Carolina Beach keeps new traffic pattern

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The new traffic pattern in Carolina Beach was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's town council meeting.

Right before Easter weekend, Department of Transportation crews finished changing Lake Park Boulevard from four lanes to two, with a center turn lane, plus a bike lane to help alleviate traffic problems. But, residents are concerned the new configuration is creating more congestion.

The town manager says temporary lines were drawn on the boulevard and traffic lights weren't synced, causing the back-ups. Council considered going back to the D.O.T to get rid of the bike lane, but council voted that down.

Some say the bike lane is needed.

"A bike lane reduces traffic," Steve Mangiacapre of the Cape Fear Cyclists said. "It doesn't increase traffic. The whole thing with bike lanes is that you're on a bicycle and you don't have a vehicle. The more people you get on a bicycle, the less cars you're going to have."

Other residents say the new traffic pattern is problematic.

"Utter dismal failure," Carolina Beach resident and Business owner Tilford Christian said. "It doesn't work. Traffic is backing up. People are leaving."

Council decided the traffic pattern will stay as is, while city officials evaluate how it's working once permanent lines and the timing of lights is finalized.

Also tonight, the town council approved some minor changes to help people get on to Freeman Park during holiday weekends. Both lanes will be opened to inbound traffic, while outbound traffic will be let off the beach at peak times. Plus, the town will add additional law enforcement to help police crowds. Two tow trucks will also be on hand to help drivers who get stuck trying to get on and off the beach. The changes take effect Memorial Day weekend.

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north end

Hollddd up!! Wait a minute !! Did I read this right? Once you go onto the North End of CB you are trapped there until you are told you can leave? So it matters little if you are sunburned, dehydrated, sick, hungry, gotta go to work, got a kid screaming, out of gas, or just ready to go the heck home, you must sit there until the "peak" hour that someone randomly chooses for you to leave? Please tell me I read this wrong. This is extremely disturbing to me. This is captivity. Should be illegal. When do we vote again? Can we change that date to tomorrow? This beach has gone friggin crazy !!!

Yep

Yes, you did read this right.

I did see it say on Holiday Weekends though.
I think they want to limit the traffic (or cease all traffic) on Holiday weekends.

This still sounds absurd to me.
I agree with SusieN when she said that the tow trucks are going to profit. People are already getting stuck but when you add "stop and go" traffic to sand you are asking for trouble.

This is going to make me re-think going to the north end...I guess there plan is working already.

bikes

I do NOT think any bikes should allowed on ANY road without a bike lane! For instance: I travel Blue Clay Rd. on Sunday mornings and most times it is full of bikes! It makes me so nervous..even when you get room to pass, what if they hit a rock or something and it causes their bike to swerve or even wreck them and you hit them? You are both ruined for life. So what will they do next? Sweep all the county roads? FOR A BIKE? PU-LEEEZZZZ
I don't think they should be allowed on the roads at all! Never! They don't have motors. They should have to ride on bike trails ONLY. No exceptions.

Let me guess

20 bucks says your over weight, eat at McD's on a daily basis, and spend more time on your phone when your in your car than actually paying attention to driving. New Hanover county has the highest number of car crashes than any other place in NC thanks to your attitude.

I guess bike lanes are ok,

I guess bike lanes are ok, but taking away motor vehicle lanes to make bike lanes is about a stupid an idea as I have ever heard. People don't ride bikes to the beach. Sounds like a good place to stay away from this Summer.

Let's see what happens in a emergency!

As a resident of CB, I wrote the Director of Planning to inquire of the new traffic pattern and resulting chaos during Easter weekend. Traffic was backed up from CB all the way down to the Kure Beach pier. People were in traffic for hours getting through CB. I received the response that this was a DOT engineered plan and that it was "promised to be better than before" and that "traffic light coordination was off". There are a grand total of TWO traffic lights to coordinate in the area of chaos. We all know the "talented designs" that the DOT has brought Wilmington, just look at the fiasco occuring at Monkey Junction with the "NO u-turns" that everyone does and the "YES u-turns" that nobody uses. Easter weekend is nothing like what we will experience during the norm this summer at CB. I have not seen the first "hint" of any sort of DOT traffic study that should be used as a foundation for making such drastic traffic pattern changes. No traffic counters, no observers, nothing related to a study. It appears they just did it with a lick and a promise.

I voiced the concern that there is a liability issue because emergency vehicles such as ambulance, fire and police will be totally locked up during normal summer, weekend traffic and will not be able to meet their emergency obligations. In certain cases this could mean the difference between life and death or houses burning to the ground without emergency assistance or possible robberies and assaults without intervention. Not good!

So, let's see how far it has to go and how many weekends of gridlock it takes before the almighty DOT steps off their high horse and does something practical for a change.

Well....

I love going to Carolina Beach during the summer, and I am sure I will continue going, but this new pattern is awful and it will be discovered that it is a huge mistake. On Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend and any other extra busy day that Carolina Beach encounters, will become a nightmare. Or, people will travel Dow Road and head to Kure Beach and the Fort Fisher, and maybe, in a way, this is what they wanted...Who knows. I just know that it will be bad coming on to the island and even worse leaving.